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Adobe FrameMaker Tutorial – Anchored Frames

What are They?

“Anchored Frames” are exactly what they sound like. You can create a “frame” on your page, that will remain either right where you place it, or with whatever text you place it with, no matter how much formatting you do. Even if you were to add a whole new page before the anchored frame, it will remain where you choose. This is useful for keeping images with their respective text.

Importing Graphics

You will probably have many images you either download or scan yourself that you would like to include in your document. When you import the graphic, it will be imported inside a generated anchored frame, which you can resize and move at any point. The most common files you will be importing should be of either GIF (*.gif) or JPEG (*.jpg) format (Adobe FrameMaker also support Adobe PhotoShop files, *.psd).

NOTE: “Bitmap” (*.bmp) files are not standard for use in programs and on the internet. While FrameMaker (and other programs) will accept and import them (usually with no problem), they are generally of poor quality and/or extremely large file size. If you insist upon using an image that is in Bitmap format and are familiar with graphics programs (such as Adobe PhotoShop), convert your Bitmap file to either GIF or JPG format.

Make sure all graphics are in the same local folder on your disk (or hard drive) as your FrameMaker document.

To import a graphic, go to the “File” menu, select “Import,” and click “File.” Browse to where your images are (remember, they should be in the EXACT SAME folder as your FrameMaker document; move them there, if need be), and select the one you wish to import.

Here is where you need to make a choice. If you will be working on the same computer exclusively for your document, you can choose “Import By Reference” at the bottom of the screen. By this, it means that FrameMaker will NOT be loading your image(s) directly into the FrameMaker document; it’s “linking” those images to the document. When you see an image in your document, what FrameMaker is doing is seeing an “alias,” per say, to an image elsewhere on the computer. This cuts down on the file size of your document by not including images as a part of it.

If disc space is not an issue for you, and/or if you need to be moving your FrameMaker document to multiple computers, select “Copy Into Document.” This means the images WILL be directly attached to your document. Whatever the file size of your image is will be added to the file size of your FrameMaker document.

Again, this is precisely why you should not be using images in Bitmap format. Large images will create large FrameMaker files if imported into the document. Bitmap files tend to be close to 1 MB in size. For a comparison, a standard floppy disk only holds 1.4 MB of space.

After you’ve made your choice, click “Import.” For the most part, simply clicking “Set” on the next window will be sufficient for you. Unless you are extremely familiar with digital images and feel like exploring advanced options, you will be fine.

Your image will appear (maybe not exactly as how you saved it, but it will look very close to it) with a dotted line surrounding it; that dotted line is the anchored frame.

Your image may knock some text down if you inserted it into the middle of a paragraph. You’ll probably want the text to “wrap” around your image, so it takes up less space, and looks more professional. To do this, go to the “Special” menu and click “Anchored Frame.” Change the “Anchoring Position” to “Run into Paragraph.” In “Alignment,” you can choose to align the image left, or on the right. When you’re done, click “Edit Frame.”

Later on, you’ll learn how to create pages with room on the side of text flows. You may want to put images in this space. To do so, when importing the graphic, select “Outside Text Frame” in the “Anchored Frame” menu of “Special.” You can then choose to import it on the right or the left, depending on where the available space is.

Resizing Images

You’ll notice that you can select either the anchored frame (by clicking the dotted line) or the image itself (by clicking the image). To change the size of the image, make sure it’s selected. The familiar squares will surround it.

Click on any one of them, and drag to the desired position and size (note that if you try to make the image large than the anchored frame is, you’ll need to resize the anchored frame to see the full image). Once the image is at the size you like, you can adjust the anchored frame to be a similar size. This allows us to see the part (or whole) of the image that you’d like. Change the size of the anchored frame in the same way by selecting it, and dragging the black squares. You’ll notice that the text follows and wraps with the anchored frame, and not the actual image.